Marine Geophysical Researches

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 43–57 | Cite as

A seismo-stratigraphic analysis of glaciomarine deposits in the eastern Riiser-Larsen Sea (Antarctica)

  • K. Solli
  • B. Kuvaas
  • Y. Kristoffersen
  • G. Leitchenkov
  • J. Guseva
  • V. Gandjukhin
Original Paper

Abstract

Multichannel seismic data from the eastern parts of the Riiser-Larsen Sea have been analyzed with a sequence stratigraphic approach. The data set covers a wide bathymetric range from the lower continental slope to the abyssal plain. Four different sequences (termed RLS-A to RLS-D, from deepest to shallowest) are recognized within the sedimentary section. The RLS-A sequence encompasses the inferred pre-glacial part of the deposits. Initial phases of ice sheet arrival at the eastern Riiser-Larsen Sea margin resulted in the deposition of multiple debris flow units and/or slumps on the upper part of the continental rise (RLS-B). The nature and distribution of these deposits indicate sediment supply from a line or a multi-point source. The subsequent stage of downslope sediment transport activity was dominated by turbidity currents, depositing mainly as distal turbidite sheets on the lower rise/abyssal plain (RLS-C). We attribute this to margin progradation and/or a more focussed sediment delivery to the continental shelf edge. As the accommodation space on the lower rise/abyssal plain declined and the base level was raised, the turbidite channels started to backstep and develop large channel–levee complexes on the upper parts of the continental rise (RLS-D). The deposition of various drift deposits on the lower rise/abyssal plain and along the western margin of the Gunnerus Ridge indicates that the RLS-D sequence is also associated with increased activity of contour currents. The drift deposits overlie a distinct regional unconformity which is considered to reflect a major paleoceanographic event, probably related to a Middle Miocene intensification of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

Keywords

Antarctica Debris flows Deep-sea deposits Riiser-Larsen Sea Seismics Turbidites 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Solli
    • 1
  • B. Kuvaas
    • 1
  • Y. Kristoffersen
    • 1
  • G. Leitchenkov
    • 2
  • J. Guseva
    • 3
  • V. Gandjukhin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth ScienceUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.VNIIOkeangeologiaSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.PMGRELomonosovRussia

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